The enterprise software selection process is a long and complicated process – for several good reasons. The solution you choose will affect the way you conduct business for years to come, and it will impact virtually every function. It’s a significant investment, too. And with as much as 50% ERP implementations failing to achieve their goals, it’s critical to find a solution suited to your business and its unique needs.
But many organizations get off-track right at the start when they go into the selection process believing some common myths about the process – misconceptions that can result in the wrong choice for their business. Here are the top five misconceptions that derail the enterprise software selection process:
1. Thinking that technology is the most important consideration.
Many companies replace their enterprise software because it’s outdated or no longer supported by the vendor. While these are valid reasons to make the move to a new system, they shouldn’t be the only ones. The software selection process is the perfect time to evaluate business goals and map them to your new solution. For example, you may want to reduce operating costs or improve order accuracy. If you have these goals in mind, you’re better able to narrow down your choices and request relevant demos from vendors.
2. Assuming that all ERP solutions are the same.
If you’ve ever bought a new car, you know that every model is different, even those built on the same platform. Each includes various features and benefits, including subtle differences in appearance. It’s the same with ERP software. At first glance, it may seem like two solutions are exactly alike. But once you look under the hood, you may learn that one is more powerful. As you test drive it with a demo, you may find that one is more comfortable. The differences often may seem small, but looking critically at them is the key to finding software that fits your business.
3. Believing that a highly detailed RFP is required.
Many companies think they need to spend hours creating lengthy RFPs, which often amount to hundreds of pages. But since most vendor offerings address core pain points, such as automating reports, these documents don’t need to be nearly as long. Instead, you should look at the business problems you want to solve with the new software, not core functionalities
that typically are the same across multiple vendors. It is more beneficial to create a shorter RFP that includes specific problem areas you need to address.
4. Thinking that an ERP project is an IT project
While the IT department provides critical input, companies need to get various viewpoints from across the organization when they gather requirements in the software selection process. All too often, important stakeholders are left out of the conversation. Before looking at different systems, assemble a team with employees from every department that uses, or will use, your ERP. Whether it’s accounting, sales, marketing, shop floor, warehouse, logistics, operations or any other department, it’s important to know the challenges they have and what they need to do their jobs better.
5. Assuming that big-name solutions are always the best solutions
Many organizations start ERP selection with a list of the biggest and best-known companies in the ERP software marketplace. The big-name vendors offer excellent choices for small, medium and large enterprises in a variety of deployment models. Their powerful products may not be right for your organization, however. Extensive customization may be necessary to meet the requirements of your segment and company. Or you may have to purchase specialized industry add-ons to get it to function the way you want. Instead, consider all the options available.
There are many ERP vendors that offer industry-specific toolsets and broad industry expertise. But there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The functionalities and capabilities required are unique to each subvertical. And finding the best fit starts with evaluating software solutions and functions based on your organization’s unique needs.
Expertise is valuable.
When considering an ERP project, consult Ultra's experts for valuable insight into which ERP software solution will help you reduce costs, improve efficiency and achieve your business goals. Contact us now!